Democracy, Demagogues,
and the Story of America

With Bret Stephens, Danielle Allen, and Uriel Epshtein

Speakers: Bret Stephens, Danielle Allen and Uriel Epshtein


What: a virtual discussion between Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, Harvard Professor Danielle Allen, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times columnist Bret Stephens on Democracy, Demagogues, and the Story of America.

RDI is excited to host Harvard Professor Danielle Allen, a candidate in the Democratic primary for Governor of Massachusetts, along with Bret Stephens, a conservative columnist for the New York Times.

Since ancient times, demagogues have exploited fear and fomented bigotry to scapegoat minorities, overturn rule of the people, and seize power for themselves. Even Aristotle was opposed to democracy, because he thought it was too easy for demagogues to use the tools of democracy to establish tyranny. Their fears weren’t unfounded. Adolf Hitler, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin were all elected democratically before they used the power of elected office to destroy democracy itself.

America is especially vulnerable to demagogues today. The common story of America is quickly unraveling, and polarization has resulted in two nations: based on party affiliation and holding separate values, heroes, and histories. How can we reweave the disparate stories of our country, reclaim a unifying national heritage, and recommit ourselves to an America where “all men are created equal?”

Join RDI on August 12 at 6 pm EDT for a virtual discussion between Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, Harvard Professor Danielle Allen, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Bret Stephens on Democracy, Demagogues, and the Story of America.

Tickets are free, but limited, and are first-come, first-served. Please reserve your spot now, while seats are still available! We hope you can also join our private conversation, post-event, with Allen and Stephens. We can’t wait to see you there!

Danielle Allen, a Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts is on sabbatical from serving as Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and is widely known as a political theorist. She is a former chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past chair of the Pulitzer Prize board, and the founding director of the Democratic Knowledge Project Design Studio at Harvard, which aims to equip citizens with the knowledge and tools they need to participate in the democratic process.

Bret Stephens is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist for The New York Times. Previously, he had worked as a foreign affairs columnist at the Wall Street Journal, where he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He is known for his incisive and frequently contrarian writing style.

The Renew Democracy Initiative, as a 501(c)(3) organization, does not engage in political campaign activities, and neither endorses nor opposes any candidates for public office.